Whether you're a fan of an indie artist or a creator looking to make a bit of dough, it's time to find out more about the sites that can help you support the work you love (or get supported for doing the work you love). Sure, you could buy a band's shirt, or a piece of art from your favourite water-colourist, but if you want to do your part to help your favourite starving artist fill their coffers so they can continue to create more of the stuff they love, you can use these sites to provide a more steady and secure stream of income. Every little bit helps, after all.
Flattr uses a slightly different method to collect money from supporters. The subscription-based donation platform divides up your chosen monthly subscription cost among the sites you visit that support Flattr.
The longer you spend on those Flattr-supported sites, the more money they receive from your chosen monthly fee. To enable the feature you'll need to browse the sites on a computer running Chrome or Firefox along with the Flattr browser extension.
Artist funding platform Patreon is making some changes to the way it deals with patron pledges. The change to Patreon's transaction fees will guarantee creators receive 95 per cent of the amount committed by patrons to their creative work. Unfortunately, that also means patrons will be charged more for their pledges.
Creators using Flattr need to use sites they own. In order to benefit from Flattr, they'll follow the company's instructions and paste a line of code into their site's header page that associates their Flattr account with the site.
You'll be able to see how much of your monthly subscription goes to each site as well. As a creator, to cash in on your good good content, you can withdraw your winnings from Flattr (minus 10 per cent in processing fees).
Drip is Kickstarter's subscription-based service similar to Patreon's business model of recurring donations to creators. You'll find some pretty popular artists like Reggie Watts, Peter Burr, and Shantell Martin, though you probably won't see your friend and his band just yet.
Right now, Drip is invite-only, so not everyone with an idea will be able to take advantage of the crowdfunding service. The company does say it's opening it to the public soon through a collaboration with XOXO that will "ultimately replace Drip", so keep an eye out.
Subscribers can choose a creator-defined donation level, and should expect to pay every month in exchange for rewards from creators like extra songs or updates on projects. In terms of fees, creators can expect to see a 5 per cent processing charge along with another charge depending on the currency they use.
Bandcamp is perfect for musicians who want to actually get paid for their music instead of giving it away for less than pennies a play on streaming platforms. With a pay-what-you-will option in addition to a traditional creator-established price, you can purchase albums or individual songs from musicians.
Depending on the artist's choice, you can download audio files in varying quality levels, and purchase physical merch like records in addition to digital files. The accompanying iOS and Android app allows you to download and stream the music you purchased and browse for new tracks.
A subscription service similar to Netflix, Patreon is a pretty popular donation-based crowdfunding site. If you're an artist, you can sign up to create an account and fill out your creator profile page where you can describe what you're working on along with any benefits subscribers receive after becoming a patron.
You can opt to receive money on a monthly basis or whenever you create content (meaning users will be charged every time you release a new song, work of art, or podcast episode, for example).
Artists can share exclusive content with subscribers like private RSS links for members-only content like podcasts, and exclusive Discord access if available. You can donate as little as one dollar per month, and support as many artists as you'd like.
To support creators on Patreon, subscribers can visit a creator's Patreon page and choose one of their subscription tiers. Subscribers are billed the first of every month their combined subscriber fee, or whenever a creator releases a new product as part of their subscription type.